India offers to host next meet on Global Sustainability

The 21-member high-level Panel, formed in August, includes Ramesh, United States envoy to the UN Susan E Rice, Foreign Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, European Union's Commissioner for Climate Change Connie Hedegaard.

"I'm proposing that the second meeting of this panel should be held in India sometime in April next year... India is going to offer to host the second meeting of the panel," Ramesh told PTI.

The panel, which is co-chaired by Finland's President Tarja Halonen and South African President Jacob Zuma, will deliver its final report to Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon at the end of 2011.

Ban will use the recommendations of the panel to provide inputs into the preparations of the annual climate change conference, held every year, and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in 2012.

Ramesh also stressed that this panel could not be viewed as "bypass surgery" for the ongoing climate change negotiations."We can discuss issues related to climate change but this is not a negotiating forum," Ramesh said.

"This is not a problem solving forum... we cannot have another group of 19-20 leaders or economists, social scientists and environmentalists suddenly discussing climate change negotiations".

He said the panel should get into the nitty-gritty of negotiations."But we can certainly discuss the future... what is the technology sharing paradigm for climate change... what is the financing paradigm for climate change," he added.

Foreign Minister S M Krishna is set to arrive in New York on Tuesday to attend the opening week of the UN General Assembly.

Krishna is expected to speak at the high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, which has been convened five years ahead of the 2015 deadline, and later this week, he will address the General Assembly.

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